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Exercise and Cancer Therapy…



I have a pretty active imagination.. it’s because I seem to think every thing that happens in my life can be related back to an episode of “Friends”.

I’m not about to start yelling at you “Give me 5 more and I’ll flash you..” like Monica did when training Chandler. In fact I can promise you right now I would NEVER actually say that!

So let’s move on to Rocky Balboa. Who hasn’t attended a shadow boxing class and imagined they’re Rocky? Or heard the “Eye Of The Tiger” in their head in between tracks being played? No one? Admit it, you so have…

The thing is, when shadow boxing I tend to go more dancey- I start throwing my arm rather than punching. My wrist is all floppy, like I’m just throwing a punch at an older brother to leave me alone or an annoying friend teasing me telling them to give it a rest. I’m just imagining have a brother so maybe that’s the issue? If I DID have one, I might have more force and technique like when my boys fight with their brothers.. they tend to really mean business!

So I remember during class searching for something to visualize so I could really get into my actual punch, not throwing my arm or hand from my upper arm, but really getting my upper back and shoulders into it.

I wasn’t angry with anyone so no ones face popped into my head. I was fortunate at the time not to have any work issues or family issues I was really mad about that I could imagine punching away. But when I thought about fighting, more so the word “fight”, it immediately came to me. Some “thing” I was furious about, something my closest friend was currently fighting so hard it was impacting her quality of life, her family, her mind, her body, her hair.

I punched the hell outta that cancer every class I went to. By focusing my energy through powerful movements that were not just physical but mentally meant something to me.. it made all the difference to my technique and workout. I’m sure you’re aware elite athletes use visualization to help achieve optimum performance. They tend to do visualization techniques leading up to an event playing out their entire technique and what could go wrong and what they would do, for hours at a time. I don’t have time for all that of course, and I don’t have to anticipate the punches being thrown BACK at me during a class (unless I’m standing waaaay too close a fellow participant). I only need to focus on my own technique, my own force and strength. This body awareness and focus helps with any workout.

What would you imagine you were overcoming? Would it be fear? Health issues? Sadness? Disappointment? Through all our movements we can actively PUSH and PULL, bring the good in, work away the negative. We can enjoy the rush of our bodies getting stronger with each motion and feel so proud because we are DOING something about it. It’s not a direct response to whatever is concerning you- but it’s your mindset that you’re working on. Your mindset is oh so important and can make all the difference to your workout, not to mention your life.

As Rocky Balboa said, “I stopped thinking the way other people think a long time ago, you gotta think like you think”. Your thoughts are your own- work through whatever it is that comes to you. Nothing is right or wrong.

I wasn’t just angry at cancer. I was scared of it, I was feeling so helpless that I couldn’t be physically closer to her and do more to help my friend. I was physically working through anger, fear, sadness, guilt, helplessness. But all too often we push these feelings down and don’t deal with them, we don’t talk about them, we don’t write about them, we don’t process them effectively.

Through movement, my imagination, my energy and awareness, I came out of my classes having achieved way more than just working up a sweat.

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